Friday, 16 February 2018

Ready Player One trailer has a T-Rex



A new trailer for Steven Spielberg's Ready Player One has been released and it brings the retro awesome. Oh, and a T-Rex from Jurassic Park!



The use of "Come With Me", from Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, is inspired and poignantly speaks to Spielberg's love affair with cinema - a medium with which he is synonymous. Spielberg's latest sci-fi adventure evokes the director's Minority Report, which remains one of my favourite sci-fi thrillers, and not just because the protagonist is called John (Tom Cruise).

Rob Wainfur, friend and founder of The Bearded Trio, recommended I read Ready Player One. So, early in the year I bought the Kindle/Audiobook bundle in a sale and have listened to Wil Wheaton's pitch-perfect delivery on an Amazon Echo Show for that tech flourish. Plus, I can watch the trailers, too.

Ready Player One, starring Tye Sheridan and Olivia Cooke, is in cinemas 29th March.

Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Blade Runner 2049 art director joins Star Wars



Director JJ Abrams is assembling his team for Star Wars: Episode IX, which is believed to begin principal photography this June.

Blade Runner 2049 was a visual feast and art director Paul Inglis will be bringing his world-building prowess to Star Wars: Episode IX according to Omega Underground. Inglis has also worked on Game of Thrones, Skyfall and Prometheus.

The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi excel in the visual stakes and Episode IX could raise the bar even higher.

Very little is known about Abrams' final instalment in the sequel trilogy. The Force Awakens director took the helm in the wake of Colin Trevorrow's departure from the project.

Episode IX will be in cinemas December 2019.

Saturday, 10 February 2018

Is the Crash annual a Crash Smash?



Crash magazine, dedicated to all things Sinclair ZX Spectrum, was a staple of the 8-bit computing scene in the 1980s with its memorable cover art by Oliver Frey. I would pore over reviews and adverts for upcoming titles in the school playground at lunchtime.

Crash was soon joined by sister publication Zzap!64 when I was gifted a Commodore 64 in the summer of 1985. Alas, an Atari 800XL, the Porsche of 8-bit computers, remained elusive and something I covet to this day.

Rob Wainfur, the founder of The Bearded Trio, reviews the recently released Crash Annual from Fusion Retro Books.

Can it evoke the retro feels ahead of the release of Steven Spielberg's Ready Player One?

Guest post by Rob Wainfur

It's here! My Crash Annual arrived yesterday and it's everything I was wishing for.

I could have ordered the annual on its own but decided to go for the one with all the extras. Price is £15 for the book or £25 with the goodies. I really wanted that enamel "Crash Smash" pin badge.

The annual itself is of exceptional quality and the smell had that new annual smell. It instantly took me back to the early eighties when I would get a new annual for Christmas. The first thing I would do is sniff the pages. Memories...

Anyway, the book is packed with colour throughout and there are pages of reviews, cheats and... Well, you get the idea. It's a Crash magazine. I'm pleased to say they've not changed the format at all.

I was pleasantly surprised at how many new games there are for the good old Speccy. Did you know there is a new graphics engine for the Spectrum called Nirvana? It enhances the graphics and does away with the infamous Speccy colour clash. Modern games designed by fans now look like a top quality Commodore 64 game. It's worth checking out some of the new games on YouTube, I have a feeling you will be pleasantly surprised.

The other items in the pack were a 2018 calendar featuring classic Crash covers, another badge and a map of Ultimate's Pentagram illustrated by Oliver Frey. I can't recommend this enough. It may seem a little expensive but the quality shows, and I have a feeling that the book will become quite collectable in years to come.

Speaking of the book, it's published by Fusion Retro Books and I did not realise they have a series of retro books. There's one on the classic games company, Ocean. There's also one on the Commodore 64 and I've heard rumours there is a book on the way for Zzap!64 lovers. Stay tuned.

Graphics - 92%
Getting Started - 91%
Addictive Qualities - 93%
Value for Money - 85%
Overall - 92%

Thursday, 8 February 2018

Watch the first trailer for Venom starring Tom Hardy



Sony has released the first teaser trailer for Venom starring Tom Hardy as Eddie Brock. The Spider-Man spin-off, focussing on the titular symbiote villain, is supposedly separate from Spider-Man and the shared Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) at Disney.



It would be very surprising if Tom Holland's Spider-Man doesn't make an appearance. Holland can be seen as the beloved web-slinger in Avengers: Infinity War this April.

Venom is in cinemas this October.

Wednesday, 7 February 2018

Collider talks Star Wars with Rian Johnson at IMAX HQ



Collider hosted a 70-minute Q&A with director Rian Johnson to discuss Star Wars: The Last Jedi at IMAX HQ.

During the deep dive, Johnson discusses Star Wars fandom, the creative process and deleted scenes included on the upcoming Blu-ray disc.

It's fair to assume there'll be spoilers.

Tuesday, 6 February 2018

Star Wars trilogy from Game of Thrones showrunners



So, in addition to Rian Johnson's Star Wars trilogy, Disney's hiring Game of Thrones' David Benioff and Dan Weiss to create another new trilogy, independent from the Skywalker saga, at Lucasfilm.

“David and Dan are some of the best storytellers working today,” said Kathleen Kennedy, president of Lucasfilm. “Their command of complex characters, depth of story and richness of mythology will break new ground and boldly push Star Wars in ways I find incredibly exciting.”

“In the summer of 1977 we traveled to a galaxy far, far away, and we’ve been dreaming of it ever since,” Benioff and Weiss said in a joint statement. “We are honored by the opportunity, a little terrified by the responsibility, and so excited to get started as soon as the final season of Game of Thrones is complete.”

The Game of Thrones showrunners will be following Gwendoline Christie (Captain Phasma) and Emelia Clarke (Qi'Ra) into a galaxy far, far away...

What do you think about another new trilogy? Let me know in the comments below.

Monday, 5 February 2018

Solo: A Star Wars Story on Good Morning America



The wait is over for Star Wars fans. A teaser for Solo: A Star Wars Story, directed by Ron Howard, dropped during the Super Bowl.



Good Morning America, owned by Disney, premiered the full teaser trailer today.



In the wake of directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller departing from the troubled Star Wars spin-off, many fans (myself included) were worried. After watching the teaser trailer, I'm excited to see how Han Solo first met Chewie.

Veteran Hollywood composer John Williams is composing the theme for Han Solo.

Solo: A Star Wars Story is in cinemas 25th May.

Saturday, 3 February 2018

Feature-length premiere for Doctor Who Series 11



Jodie Whittaker's first episode of Doctor Who will be a feature-length adventure, introducing her and the new team TARDIS (played by Bradley Walsh, Tosin Cole and Mandip Gill), running at 65 minutes.

The episode running time was unveiled as part of a listing for the BBC Worldwide Showcase in Liverpool later this month. Alongside the announcement, the BBC has issued this tantalising summary of what to expect from the upcoming series.

"Already highly anticipated, Series 11 heralds a brand-new era for Doctor Who with a world-class team at the helm. Incoming lead writer Chris Chibnall has a fresh and inclusive vision for the series. Bigger and bolder than ever, this series marks the arrival of Jodie Whittaker, the 13th Doctor – a super-smart force of nature, alongside a team of new and delightful characters. The show will be full of action and adventure, humour and thrills. An unmissable high-end drama everyone will enjoy."

Doctor Who series 11 will be broadcast this autumn.

Thursday, 1 February 2018

The Doctor Who companion between Clara and Bill



Around the time of Doctor Who special Last Christmas, speculation was rife surrounding Jenna Coleman's departure from the series after one season co-starring with Peter Capaldi in series 8. Former series showrunner Steven Moffat recently shed light on the matter during an interview with the RadioTimes.

“I vaguely had a set of thoughts about what the new companion should be like. There would have been elements in common [with Bill] – but your mind moves on in the interim. So maybe some of where we ended up with Bill has obscured what I was thinking about for Clara’s replacement, or the original version of Clara’s replacement, so I couldn’t really say now. Bill ended up being very much her own thing, I think. And very much Pearl Mackie.”

Moffat didn't think Coleman would leave so soon.

“I didn’t feel as though we were quite finished with Jenna and Clara. And I wasn’t convinced, looking in Jenna’s eye, that she was really ready to leave. And I don’t think anyone should leave Doctor Who until they’re really ready to leave. So it wasn’t a massive surprise to me that she stayed. It was a bit of a surprise – I mean, we went to the Christmas read-through, “Last Christmas”, with her leaving at the end, and it was in the conversation after the read-through that she stayed. But you know, if you’ve got a star like that, you keep a star like that. Of course you do.”



Ultimately, Jenna Coleman stayed on for series 9, which sees some of the best stories since series 5.

Doctor Who returns this autumn starring Jodie Whittaker in the titular role.

Wednesday, 31 January 2018

BioWare's Anthem delayed until 2019



The release of Anthem, BioWare's answer to Bungie's beleaguered Destiny, is being pushed back to 2019. Publisher EA has released a statement suggesting the game is deep into development and the delay is due to the as-yet-untitled Battlefront this holiday season.

"We've chosen to launch Anthem in [tax year] Q4 and the date is really determined by portfolio of balancing consideration not for product readiness reasons. It's tracking well on its development milestones. We are really confident of its ship date," said EA boss Andrew Wilson during a company investors call.

"We are really excited by the way the next Battlefield is shaping up and it probably doesn't make sense to launch Anthem right up next to it. And when you think about Anthem as a brand new IP, we also believe it make sense to give it its own launch window so that we can give us a focus and attention that it deserve and give it some free air."

Evidently, EA doesn't want to repeat the mistake of releasing two tentpole franchises within a week of each other. Battlefront I overshadowed the critically-acclaimed Titanfall 2 in 2016.

The publisher has received flak from the gaming community. From a bungled launch of Mass Effect: Andromeda to a loot box revolt for Star Wars Battlefront II. BioWare is doubling down on the development of Anthem whilst speculation surrounds a takeover of EA. Microsoft and Disney have been cited as potential buyers.

Frankly, I assumed Anthem wouldn't be released until late 2019 or 2020. That said, Anthem is being overseen by Casey Hudson who directed the original Mass Effect trilogy. So, I'm hopeful it'll bring character-driven storytelling into the looter shooter space.